A city-based NGO, on the basis of an RTI data, has alleged that the private operator of the Mumbai-Pune expressway had under-reported the average daily traffic (ADT) at the four toll collection booths on the e-way in July last year by a margin of 50%.
Sajag Nagarik Manch, the NGO, has been using the Right to Information Act to expose the lapses in the administrative system.
However, IRB Infrastructure Developers (IRB), which is the expressway operator and toll collector, has refuted the charge and questioned the very grounds on which the NGO has based its arguments.
Vivek Velankar and Sanjay Shirodkar of the Sajag Nagarik Manch said that after a file inspection done under Section 4 of RTI Act at the Maharashtra State Road Development Corporation (MSRDC) office pertaining to the Mumbai-Pune Expressway, they came to know that MSRDC had carried out a videography count for a traffic survey on the expressway. This study, through a third party, was done from July 18 to July 24, 2015 at the four toll plazas of Khalapur, Talegaon, Kusgaon and Shedung. Velankar said MSRDC has not made this survey public or sought any explanation from the company if it found discrepancies in the reported figures.
The two activists claim that based on the videographic count reports it is seen that there is a discrepancy in the ADT numbers reported by the operator by around 50%. According to Shirodkar, a three-day average traffic reported by the MSRDC study is 43,450 at Khalapur while that reported by the operator is 22,705. Similarly at the Talegaon toll plaza the MSRDC videographic counts put ADT at 31,135 compared to 18,130 put by the e-way operator.
Responding to the allegations, Virendra D Mhaiskar, CMD of IRB Infrastructure, ruled out any kind of under-reporting. “IRB is a responsible corporate and follows highest ethics. Every quarter we give revenues collected from each of our project. We report plaza-wise data every month to MSRDC,” he said.
“MSRDC has not shared any such report with us. They have not asked for any report from us,” Mhaiskar said.